WILL MONTANA’S ADULT-USE MARIJUANA COMPLIMENTARY INITIATIVES, INITIATIVE 190 AND CONSTITUTIONAL INITIATIVE 118, PASS?
Currently, registered patients may access medical marijuana through licensed medical marijuana businesses in Montana. Come November 3rd, 2020, Montana voters will see two initiatives, on the ballot to legalize adult-use/recreational marijuana in Montana.
Pepper Peterson, a spokesperson for New Approach Montana, which helped organize the efforts for the initiatives, mentioned the high support of voters in Montana towards legalizing recreational marijuana in efforts to create jobs and generate new revenue for the state. According to a February University of Montana Big Sky Poll, 54% of respondents agreed to the initiatives for the legalization of marijuana, and 37% were opposed to it. A similar Big Sky Poll done in 2019, had a 51% response in support of marijuana legalization in Montana, this is slightly lower than the most recent results done by the University.
LEARN MORE ABOUT I-190 AND CI-118
The two initiatives, I-190 and CI-118, are not opposing or competing initiatives, rather, the two work together.
I-190 is a statutory measure that would legalize, regulate, and tax adult-use marijuana in Montana.
CI-118 is a constitutional amendment that would give the state the authority to set the minimum age of marijuana consumption at 21.
Under the statutory proposal, marijuana sales would be taxed at 20%. The law would give Montana current medical marijuana providers (medical marijuana businesses) first entry into the adult-use market, allow for limited personal possession and cultivation, tightly regulate production and distribution, shift regulatory authority for marijuana to the Montana Department of Revenue, and create new funds for veterans, healthcare, education, infrastructure and conservation efforts.
Montana Adult-Use Marijuana Business Licenses:
If I-190 and CI-118 passes, a person who obtains an adult-use provider license, adult-use marijuana-infused products provider license, or adult-use dispensary license is authorized to cultivate, manufacture, possess, sell, and transport marijuana. The state will issue the following types of licenses:
- An Adult-use provider means a person licensed by the department to cultivate and process marijuana for consumers.
- Adult-use marijuana-infused products provider means a person licensed by the department to manufacture and provide marijuana-infused products for consumers.
- Adult-use dispensary means registered premises from which a licensed adult-use provider or adult-use marijuana-infused products provider is approved by the department to dispense marijuana or marijuana-infused products to a consumer.
The two initiatives did not provide any limitations on the number of licenses; however, it also does not prohibit the state legislature and/or regulatory agency from establishing limits on the number of licenses issued in the future. Additionally, for the first 12 months after the state begins to receive applications, the regulating department shall only accept applications from and issue licenses to existing medical marijuana business licensees that are in good standing with the state of Montana.
To be one of the first to secure a marijuana business license for the adult-use program, we suggest applying for a medical marijuana business license for the existing medical marijuana program now. As described above, medical marijuana businesses will have the first stab at applying for the approval to cater to the adult-use market. If you are interested in applying for a license in Montana, contact us to discuss how we may be able to assist you.